Hickey Homepage

42.346  Modern European Intellectual History 

Michael C. Hickey   Office:  130 OSH, x4161   Hours:  M-W, 4:00-5:00; T-Th, 2:00-3:30    mhickey@bloomu.edu

Your Term Papers Are Due on 22 April!!!!


Navigate this page:   

Course Description        

Course Texts    

Assignments and Evaluation         

Specific Instructions for Assignments       

Weekly Syllabus

European History Resources

                                                                Warning re. plagiarism!!!!     On using endnote citation form



Course Description:  This course is an introduction to Modern European Intellectual History, with the greatest emphasis given to the period 1789-1950.  Among the topics on which we shall focus are


Assignments and evaluation:  Your final grade is based upon

Class participation (20 percent)

Term Paper  (20 percent)

a take-home midterm exam (30 percent)

a take-home final exam (30 percent) 


GRADES:  An "A" in this course means that your cumulative score on all assignments adds up to 93 percent or more of possible points; A- = 90-92 percent; B+ = 88-89 percent; B = 83-87 percent; B- = 80-82 percent; C+ = 78-79 percent; C = 73-77 percent; C- = 70-72 percent; D+ =68-69 percent; D = 63-67 percent; D- = 60-62 percent; and less than 60 percent = E.


Required Common Texts:


Specific Instructions for Assignments:


Participation:  This course is a seminar and requires your active participation every week.  For this reason, participation accounts for 20 percent of your course grade.  It is your responsibility to attend every class session having completed the week's reading assignments and having prepared answers to the week's study questions.  I expect you to answer questions that I ask in class, but I also expect you to ask questions of me and of the other students.  From time to time I may assign you to do "group" presentations or to "take over" class as a discussion leader. 

Your participation grade will be based upon both the frequency and the quality of your contributions to discussions.  You can not contribute if you are not attending: I will lower your participation grade in direct ratio to the number of classes that you miss.



Term Paper:  Chose one thinker/writer/creative artist and read everything you can by and about that person (in the case of artists, this includes their creative works). 

Your paper must either


This paper will account for 20 percent of your course grade, and is due on 22 April

I will grade your paper on the basis of its accuracy, clarity, logic, appropriate source material, and attention to proper endnote and bibliography form .



Exam One:  Using as your main sources John Stuart Mill's Autobiography and the early writings of Karl Marx (through 1848), write a paper (10 pages minimum length, typed, double spaced, with endnotes in addition to the minimum page length) in which you

Compare and contrast how Mill and Marx understood the major problems confronting early 19th century European society.

Give particular attention to at least three of the following issues: 

This exam will account for 30 percent of your course grade.  It is due on 16 March

I will grade your exam on the basis of its accuracy, clarity, logic, use of appropriate source material, and attention to proper endnote and bibliography form.


Exam Two:  Using as your main sources Freud's Civilization and its Discontents and Sartre's Nausea, write a paper (10 pages minimum length, typed, double spaced, with endnotes in addition to the minimum page length) in which you

Compare and contrast how Freud and Sartre understood

This exam will account for 30 percent of your course grade.  It is due at our Final Exam session on 4 May

I will grade your exam on the basis of its accuracy, clarity, logic, use of appropriate source material, and attention to proper endnote and bibliography form.


Weekly Syllabus of Readings and Assignments:


The reading load in this course can be heavy.  Weeks VI and VII in particular have large reading assignments, which are critical to your midterm exam in this course.  Since these reading assignments come during weeks when you may have other midterm exams, you must be very careful in planning your reading schedule.  Master making effective use of your time!


Week I (12 January):  Course Introduction.  

If possible, I'd like you to read Perry, chapters 16-18 before our class meeting.  If you can't do this, then read these chapters before the end of Week I!   Of these, the most important for our discussion are chapter 17-18.  Be sure that you can answer the Review Questions at these two chapters in Perry--these will be important for our discussion next week.


Week II (19 January):  The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment.  


~Background:  Perry, chapter 17-18.  Be ready to discuss the Review Questions at the end of the chapters!  Also Read Perry, ch. 22, pages on Hume and Kant (in section on German Idealism).

~Descartes and Scientific Method: 

Descartes "Mediations" (it is ok to just read the Synopsis, then decide if you want to read any of the specific meditations) at www.wright.edu/cola/descartes/mede.html


~The French Enlightenment:

Read, Voltaire, "Religion" from The Philosophical Dictionary at http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/virtual/reading/core4-05r07.htm

Pick out and read selections from Rousseau, The Social Contract at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/Rousseau-soccon.html.

~The German Enlightenment:

Read Kant, "What is Enlightenment?" at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/kant-whatis.html

OPTIONAL:  If you are interested, read the "Introduction" to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason at http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Philosophy/Kant/cpr. Be sure to click on the link to the Introduction.  Read only pp. 041-051.

~The Anglo-Scottish Enlightenment:

Read Locke, "Introduction" to "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding" at http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Philosophy/Locke/echu/

Read Locke, "State of Nature" from his Second Treatise of Government at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1690locke-sel.html

Read Hume, "On Miracles" at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/hume-miracles.html.

Read Smith, The Wealth of Nations (selections) at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/adamsmith-summary.html.


Answer linked study questions of web readings for week two.


Week III (26 January):  The Dual Revolutions and Modern Thought: Romanticism.


For Background, read Perry, chs.19-21.  On Romanticism, read Perry ch. 22 (the first section). 

~Romanticism in British Literature

Blake, "There is No Natural Religion" at http://members.aol.com/lshauser2/nonatrel.html

Wordsworth, "Advertisement" and at least the first 30 lines of the "Introduction" to "The Prelude" at http://www.bartleby.com/145/ww286.html and  http://www.bartleby.com/145/ww287.html.

Keats, "Happy is England" at http://www.bartleby.com/126/30.html and "Robin Hood" at http://www.bartleby.com/126/46.html

Read a portion of the 1837 edition of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein  at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/SheFran.html.  I'd really like you to read the author's introduction, chapter 6, and chapter 20, but you may chose any portion of the novel.  But do try to read a "chunk" of it!

(You may wish to take a look at page from which this html version is linked, the very useful "Resources for the Study of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" from Georgetown University, at http://www.georgetown.edu/irvinemj/english016/franken/franken.htm)

~On the contrast between Enlightenment Classicism versus Early Romanticism in French Painting, compare

Greuze, "The Paralytic" at http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_3_1_7b.html  to

Gericault, "The Raft of the Medusa" (1819) at http://www.louvre.fr/anglais/collec/peint/inv0488/peint_f.htm or at http://www.artchive.com/artchive/G/gericault/raft_of_the_medusa.jpg.html

~On early Romantic response to industrialization in English painting, see Turner, "Rain, Steam, Speed" at  http://www.j-m-w-turner.co.uk/artist/turner-rain-steam.htm and "The Fighting Temeraire" at http://www.j-m-w-turner.co.uk/artist/turner-temeraire.htm

~For the most dramatic example of early Romanticism in music, I strongly urge you to listen to a copy of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, if only the final (choral) movement!.


Answer linked study questions on web readings for week three


Week IV (2 February):  The Dual Revolutions and Political Thought:  Liberalism and Conservativism


~Perry, ch. 22, sections on conservativism, liberalism, radical democracy, and nationalism.  Also, read the first section of ch. 23 for background.

~Jefferson, "Declaration of Independence" (FIND YOUR OWN COPY!  YOU SHOULD HAVE ONE!!!).

~Seiyes, What is the Third Estate? (an excerpt)  at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/sieyes.html.

~The 1789 French "Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen" at http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/rightsof.htm.

~Paine, The Rights of Man (a selection from text in response to Burke) at  http://www.ushistory.org/paine/rights/c1-010.htm.

~Wollstonecraft, "Dedication" and "Advertisement" to The Vindication of the Rights of Women at http://www.bartleby.com/144/

~Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1791burke.html

~de Maistre, selestion from Essay on the Generative Principle at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1810demaistre.html.

~von Metternich, selection from Political Confession of Faith at  http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1820metternich.html.


Answer linked study questions on web readings for week four.


Week V (9 February):  The Dual Revolutions and Utopian Socialism


~Perry, ch. 22, sections on radicalism and on utopian socialism.  Also read section on Anarchism in Perry, ch. 24.

~Fourier, excerpt from Theory of Social Organization at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1820fourier.html

~Owen, A New View of Society, "Dedication" and "Essay One" at    http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/economics/owen/

~Proudhon, What is Property?, chapter one (and as much else as you wish to read), at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/ProProp.html


Answer linked study questions on web readings for week five.

ALSO:  It would be a Very Good Idea if you started reading Mill's Autobiography this week!


Week VI (16 February):  Classical Nineteenth Century Social Theory:  John Stuart Mill


~For background, read Perry, chapter 23; also read section on Mill in read Perry, chapter 24.

~Mill's Autobiography


Answer the linked study question


Week VII (23 February): Classical Nineteenth Century Social Theory:  Karl Marx


~Read all of Perry, ch. 24, esp. section on Marx.

~The Portable Karl Marx, pp. xi-xiv, 5-241(see study questions for specific page assignments)


Answer the linked study questions


Week VIII (2 March):  Late Nineteenth Century Thought--From Science to Irrationalism I


~Background:  read Perry, ch. 25-27.  On key thinkers, re-read sections on Darwin and Spencer in chapter 24; read section on Irrationalism in chapter 27.

~Darwin, Origin of the Species, "Introduction" and any other chapter that you might find of interest, at http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-origin-of-species/.

~Huxley, "The Struggle for Existence" at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1888thhuxley-struggle.html.

~Pearson, National Life From the Standpoint of Science at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1900pearsonl.html.

~Nietzsche, "An Attempt at Self-Criticism" from The Birth of Tragedy at http://www.mala.bc.ca/~johnstoi/Nietzsche/tragedy_all.htm

If you are interested in Nietzsche, you might want to take a look at this website-- "The Will to Power" at http://www.inquiria.com/nz/.


Answer linked web readings study questions


Note:  No Class on 9 March.  Spring Break!


Week IX (16 March):  Late Nineteenth Century Thought--from Science to Irrationalism II


~Perry, ch. 28, esp. section on social thought.

~Simmel, "Conflict as Sociation" (3 pages) at http://www2.pfeiffer.edu/~lridener/courses/SOCIAT.HTML

~Pareto, "The Circulation of Elites" at  http://www2.pfeiffer.edu/~lridener/courses/CIRCELIT.HTML.

~Le Bon, The Crowd:  A Study of the Popular Mind (read the Front Matter, in particular, the Introduction "The Era of Crowds") at  http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/BonCrow.html

~Weber, on "Bureaucracy" at http://www2.pfeiffer.edu/~lridener/courses/BUREAU.HTML

~Weber, from The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism at http://www2.pfeiffer.edu/~lridener/courses/PECAP.HTML

~Durkheim, the sections on "Anomie," "Suicide," and "Crime" in the on-line Durkheim Archive at http://durkheim.itgo.com/anomie.html , http://durkheim.itgo.com/suicide.html, and http://durkheim.itgo.com/crime.html.


Answer linked study questions



Week X (23 March):  World War One and the Death of Progress

More on transformations in the art in the pre-war decades:  Please take a look at the paintings by

~Renoir, at http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/renoir/parisian.jpg (1874) and  http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/renoir/terrace.jpg (1881)

~Monet, at http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/monet/haystacks/ (1890-91)

~Van Gogh at http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/gogh/vineyards/gogh.old-vineyard.jpg and http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/gogh/portraits/gogh.berceuse.jpg (1889)

~Gauguin at http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/gauguin/gauguin.christ-jaune.jpg (1889) and at http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/gauguin/gauguin.nave-moe.jpg (1894)

~Picasso at http://www.artic.edu/artaccess/AA_Modern/pages/MOD_1.shtml (1904, 1910)

~Braques, Leger, and Piccasso, etc. (various Cubist paintings. 1907-1914) at  http://www.artchive.com/artchive/cubism.html

~Kandinskii at http://www.rollins.edu/Foreign_Lang/Russian/kand1.jpg (1908), http://www.rollins.edu/Foreign_Lang/Russian/kand5.jpg (1909), and  http://www.rollins.edu/Foreign_Lang/Russian/kand6.jpg (1911).

~If you have a chance to do so, find a copy and listen to Stravinskii's Rites of Spring (1913), a path-breaking pre-war composition that paid homage to paganism (remember the themes that we discussed last week?)


~Please BE SURE that you have read Perry, ch. 29 for background!


We will have a "free" discussion of WWI in relation to other themes and issues raised in the course.

ALSO:  It would be a good idea to begin reading Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents this week.


Week XI (30 March):  Post-WW I Europe, the Search for Meaning, and Freud


~Perry, ch. 28, section on Freud.

~Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents


Answer linked study questions


Week XII (6 April):  The Power of the Irrational.  Fascism and Nazism.


~Re-read Perry, ch. 30, from section on The Nature of Fascism to the end of the chapter.

~Mussolini, "What is Fascism" at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/mussolini-fascism.html

~Adolf Hitler Speech of April 12, 1921 (http://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/111hit1.html)

~Adolf Hitler on Propaganda (from Mein Kampf) at  http://fcit.coedu.usf.edu/holocaust/resource/document/DocPropa.htm

(Please note that there are several full-text versions of Mein Kampf on line, but that many of them are posted by neo-Nazi groups--for instance, "stormfront.org"...PLEASE NOTE!!!  When you visit these sites, they will likely collect information from your computer, and you may end up on their mailing lists....)

~Adolf Hitler Reichstag Speech 20 February 20, 1938  at   http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/wwii/bluebook/blbk05.htm

~Der Giftpilz (The Toadstool) (from Calvin College German Propaganda Archive) (http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/thumb.htm)

Also, please browse through documents and read anything that interests you at: 

~The Modern History Sourcebook on Nazism, at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook43.html

~The Nazi Propaganda section of the German Propaganda Archive page at http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/


In class, we will have a "free" discussion of fascist and Nazi thought.  In particular, I want you to think about how the ideas of Hitler and the Nazis relate to our previous readings.


Week XIII (13 April):  The Radiant Future?  Neo-Positivism and Stalinist Intellectual "Life"


~Perry, ch. 30, section on Communist Russia


I will bring in some supporting materials for us to read and discuss in class.


Week XIV (20 April):  World War Two and Existentialism


~ Perry, ch. 31 and chapter 32 (background).

~Sartre, Nausea


We will have a "free" discussion of the novel (etc).


Week XV (27 April):  Cold War Currents, Feminism, and Post-Structuralism


~Perry, chs 33-34

~Other readings to be assigned!


Another "free" discussion.


Hickey Homepage